City Adopts New Law on Chemical Spills

A truck accident last fall prompted the City Council to tighten the law on chemical spills.

The council adopted an ordinance Wednesday that makes the spiller responsible for all costs incurred during the cleanup of any mishap. The ordinance includes, but is not limited to, hazardous materials.

“We never had much of a problem with spills until this last year, and now we’ve been going back and forth with the trucking firm and the insurance company,” City Manager Bill Little said. “When we got down to it, it came up that we didn’t have any legal handle on it.”

The chemicals that fell off a truck during a turn have cost $16,000 to clean up. Little said the city is trying to negotiate a settlement.


“It’s just like if you own a house and someone dumps garbage on the lawn--you’d have the right to have them remove it, pay to remove it or sue them,” said Bob Flandrick, Camarillo city attorney. “We’re just formalizing the legal right of the city.”